From 0-6 weeks postpartum, life’s a strange mix of sprint and stop. Everything is a crisis and needs to be dealt with immediately: poopy diapers, empty tummies, projectile spit up. Then the baby sleeps. And you’re left sitting in the debris field of dirty diapers, dirty clothes, dirty dishes. Hopefully you choose to sleep too.
I certainly do.
You’ve been pouring your energy (bouncing that crying baby for hours), sweat (dressing a baby? It should be called baby wrangling) and lots of tears (another wake up? really kid?) into this child, and just when you think you can’t do one more midnight feed, he starts to coo.
And you automatically coo back. It’s unavoidable. It just burbles up from a part of yourself you didn’t even know existed. Suddenly you’re on the floor, face to face with your Little Guy saying things like ha-goo and ah-kooo.
Not even the men folk are immune.
Also: sleep. Blissful sleep. Right around the 6 week mark those 2 hour stretches at night… well, stretch out.
You know you’ve arrived at parenthood when you can look at another parent and say (with a straight face) “I got 5 hours of sleep last night! In a row!” and they will look at you (genuinely happy) and say “Yay! That must have felt amazing!”.
Try this on your kid-less friends and they may just decide to remain kid-less for a little while longer.
However, I think my favorite 6 week milestone is lucidity. Your baby actually sees you. The eyes focus and know you. After 6 long weeks of being largely unnoticed but extremely and immediately necessary, to know that your child knows you exist is amazing.
Then those little eyes go right back to being unfocused or staring at ceiling lights or (even better!) ceiling fans. But it’s okay. That eye contact, while fleeting, is soul-filling.
So here we are, at almost 7 weeks with Dominic on the outside, and I am reveling in all these 6-week-isms. He sees me. We coo. He sleeps…ish.